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Eye On Olympia

Cancer strikes Yakima lawmaker…

Rep. Mary Skinner, R-Yakima, was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday, her office announced today.

She’s slated for surgery on Thursday at a Yakima hospital. Intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments will follow in April.

In a statement, Skinner said she hopes to be back at work as a lawmaker by mid-summer.

“I am facing the greatest challenge of my life,” she said. I have never backed away from any challenge, including this one. I plan to meet it with all of my faith and strength.”

The daughter of migrant workers who arrived the Yakima Valley when she was three months old, Skinner is a former high school teacher who was elected to state House of Representatives in 1994. She’s married to retired surgeon Hal Skinner.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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